Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

DIY Floor Cleaner Recipe Reviewed

Works on all floor types

diy floor cleaner
Make your own cleaning solution
I would like to review a DIY floor cleaner recipe with you today. It is perfect to use on all hard floor surfaces, it is non-toxic and it is easy on the budget. What more could a gal ask for?

Since purchasing my Kray Spray Mop I have been looking for good cleaning solution recipes to use. I can use just plain water and white vinegar but I wanted something a little more robust. One that would clean well, not streak and be environmentally friendly. I found one that I love and just about all of the ingredients were already in my pantry. 

All Purpose Floor Cleaner Recipe

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 3 drops dish washing soap
  • 5 to 10 drops of essential oil
You will also want a container to keep your solution in for future use. I use an empty 1 gallon vinegar bottle to store mine in. It is a good idea to store the floor cleaner away from any heat. 

This particular formula works well because each ingredient serves a purpose in the cleaning process. The water acts as a base for the other ingredients and it helps to loosen any grime on the floor. The white vinegar acts as a disinfectant and a degreaser. I might add that even though vinegar is acidic this diluted mixture should not harm stone floors. The rubbing alcohol also helps to degrease and disinfect but its main purpose in this floor cleaner is to help the floor dry quickly and not leave any streaks. The dish soap will dissolve any bonds between the dirt and the floor, it cleans, and it also breaks down any greasy residue on your floor. Use a basic dish soap that is not oil based (causes streaking and smearing). The dish soap should not have moisturizers, bleach or antibacterial substances. You might think that the added anti-bacteria would be helpful but you don't need it because you already have the vinegar and alcohol for that purpose. The essential oil just works to offset the smell of the vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Watch carefully which essential oil that you use because the ones that are compounds are usually oil based. The oil will cause smears and streaks just like it would if there is oil in your dish soap. 

And that is it! This floor cleaner is that easy to make and you will love the cleanness of your floor plus this solution leaves a nice shine, too. So, if you are looking for a floor cleaner that is economical, safe for children and pets, cleans super well and is easy to make try this do it yourself recipe for mopping your floors. I really don't think that you will be disappointed!



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

5 Creative Household Pillowcase Hacks

Review of Multiple Ways to Use Pillowcases for Sorting, Storing, and Decorating

1. Use Pillowcases to Cover the Backs of Chairs

Last week I featured how to use a pillowcase to make a No-Sew Halloween Chair Cover

You can also use it to cover the backs of ratty or damaged armless desk chairs.

The worn faux leather desk chair in my son's room started to shed some of it's material. The pieces were making a mess on the floor. 

So not being in the mood to buy a new chair, I covered the back of it with a pillow case. The width of this particular chair was perfect. The pillowcase fit snuggly keeping all the worn pieces neatly inside. I simply tucked the excess pillowcase at the bottom of the chair into the seat.

2. Use Pillowcases to Line Baskets and Boxes

Have you ever been to the store and thought you'd love one of those lined hampers or decorative storage baskets but after seeing the price, changed your mind? 

You can make your own.

This no-sew pillowcase hack is very easy. Put the pillowcase inside the basket and pull it over the sides. For smaller baskets, just tuck the excess pillowcase up the side up and create a thicker border edge. If you want, use sticky double sided velcro strips under the pillow case border edge to keep it in place.

You could also put the excess in the bottom part of the basket.

3. Use Pillowcases to Cover Your Clothes

Instead of using plastic garment bags, cut a hole in the top of a pillowcase and pull it over your clothes on a hanger.

It's a handy way to store kids clothes. Place three or four items together under one pillowcase, tie it at the bottom. When you're ready to pass them down, they're neatly together in the closet.

Pass them down in a decorative way: Use pretty pillowcases and tie the bottoms with a satin ribbon.

4. Use Pillowcases to Organize Bed Sheets

How many times have you had to look for the sheets matching pillowcases? This hack is the best, it's my personal favorite. 

Put your sheets and other matching pillowcases that go with the set, folded inside one of the matching pillowcases! Best of all, your linen closet looks super organized. When you need your bedding, it's all together.

5. Use Pillowcases to Cover Stools and Create a Skirt

For taller stools this is especially simple. Pull the pillowcase over the stool. Take a ribbon or other decorative piece of material and tie it just under the seat part. The excess material will create a skirt. If there's room under the seat, you could also attach the material by using a heavy duty staple gun.

If the stools are small, use the smallest pillowcases you have. You may have to cut and hem them, or use a bit of creativity to pull the excess material up and then tie the tie below the seat.

These make a lovely decorating hack for parties and special events.

Have fun!



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Bagster Review

Have you ever started a home improvement project and found the debris begins taking on a life and area of its' own?  Improving one's home can be like opening Pandora's Box; one never knows what you will find lurking in, under, or behind an older home which brings the inevitable problem of how to dispose of construction debris.

We recently demolished an old and small wooden deck. Somehow the little deck turned into a very large pile of debris which seemed to keep growing and growing. Remodeling can be like cutting your own bangs; once you start it is hard to stop. Since we were demolishing the deck... well, of course we should cut down the old unwieldy bush and then could not ignore the well worn railroad ties around the garden bed which had outlived their usefulness.


Where and how to dispose of all these goodies? Even though the pile kept growing the size did not warrant renting a dumpster. At the suggestion of the carpenter the Bagster was investigated to help unload our pile of construction debris.


What Is The Bagster?

The Bagster is a disposable bag which can hold up to 3,300 pounds of debris or waste. The purchase of the Bagster allows access to the Bagster Pick Up and Disposal Service operated by Waste Management. It is an on demand debris removal also referred to as a dumpster in a bag.



Dumpster or Bagster

In my area it is difficult to rent a small dumpster due to the booming construction industry for both pros and DIYers. Small dumpsters are difficult to rent and one must also have the room to park the dumpster.

It was clear when the deck (it looked so small) was being removed and parked on the lawn this was more construction debris then anticipated. The pike kept growing ! Who knew such a little deck could produce so much construction debris? The dirt was also filled with concrete from the original construction of the house over 50 years ago.

Now what? Enter the Bagster.




Where To Find The Bagster

I purchased the Bagster from Amazon  for $29.95. For our project we needed 1.5 Bagsters so of course not wanting to pass up the opportunity to clean out the garage we made great use of the remaining area in the Bagster.


Note: Review the Do’s and Dont's as to the type of materials accepted in the Bagster. We had old pieces of odd shaped concrete which had been hanging around the garage for years we happily filled up the remainder of the Bagster. Actually everything we wanted to put into the Bagster was on the Do list for our area.

Schedule The Bagster Pick Up

The system worked flawlessly. I used the online scheduler at approximately midnight on a Monday. I received a confirmation email of the order and subsequent emails throughout the progress of my order through the process.On Wednesday morning at approximately 5:30 am I heard a rumble outside and it was the very large crane/truck arriving to pick up the 2 Bagsters. Shortly after the pick up I received an email completing the process.

Pricing Of the Bagster Pick Up

The pricing of the Bagster and debris removal is two fold: the cost of the Bagster plus the cost of the removal by Waste Management. The cost varies per area and the flat rate can be obtained on the Bagster website. Two Bagsters plus the pick up charge was lower than the cost of renting a small dumpster and so much more convenient!

The Yellow Bagster Handles

The Bagster deceptively indeed holds ALOT of debris.It is critical the yellow handles “touch” for the Bagster to be picked up by the truck as a large crane must be able to lift the
Bagster up by grabbing the handles.


This information is clearly stated on the Bagster bag instructions and the website and do not ignore! 

Coupons

Online scheduling allows a customer to take advantage of a discount off the pick up price of more than one Bagster. Coupons are also available online by searching Bagster coupons.

Recommendation 

I highly recommend the Bagster. It worked flawlessly from start to finish. I’m still surprised how much construction debris can fit into one Bagster. Quick, convenient and on demand debris removal fit our construction project perfectly.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Friday, September 14, 2018

How to Easily Paint & Refinish Metal Outdoor Furniture

How to Easily Paint & Refinish Metal Outdoor Furniture
Renew Your Outdoor Furniture with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint

For the last few seasons, our outdoor furniture has started looking worn and tired.  Metal outdoor furniture is too expensive to throw away and replace, but it was definitely time to restore the beauty of the pieces.  

Last spring my husband started refinishing our outdoor furniture one piece at a time.  He choose our wrought iron table as his first project.  With a few cans of black Rust-Oleum and less than an hour, our outdoor table looked brand new again!  

Since then, he has refinished the chairs that match that table and the whole set is beautiful again. 

Last week, he refinished our wrought iron glider.  I love all of our outdoor furniture and appreciate its durability.  But, that glider is the one I use the most.  I am thrilled to have it restored to its original beauty.

My new slogan for wrought iron metal outdoor furniture:  Restore, Don't Replace!
 


Refinish Metal Outdoor Furniture
Refinished Wrought Iron Patio Table & Chairs
He also painted my little ghost  in the background with a can of White Rust-Oleum - Getting him ready for Halloween



How to Refinish Wrought Iron Outdoor Furniture

Time:  45 mins
Cost:  $25.00

Compared to the Cost of a New Glider:  $300.00

Because the refinishing of the metal table and chairs had been so successful, when my husband said he was going to refinish the glider, I grabbed my camera.  I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed to tell you exactly how to repaint your metal outdoor furniture too.

  How to Easily Paint & Refinish Metal Outdoor FurnitureItems Needed:
  • Cans of Rust-Oleum
  • Plastic Drop Cloth 
  • Tent Pegs
  • Plastic Gloves
  • Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Old Shoes & Old Painting Clothes
Step 1:  Clean the piece - remove all dust & dirt

Step 2:  Cover an area in the yard with a large, thick plastic drop cloth  (2.0 mil preferred)

Step 3:  Use tent pegs to hold the drop cloth down.  We used old army tent pegs at all four corners, but you could use bricks instead to weigh down the corners.

How to Easily Paint & Refinish Metal Outdoor Furniture Step 4:  Shake up the Rust-Oleum spray paint

Step 5:  Turn the piece over and start spraying the underside

Step 6:  Turn the piece right side up and spray the entire surface from every angle in order to cover it completely and evenly

It took about 45 minutes and 4 cans of Rust-Oleum to spray paint the glider.  That short amount of time spent renewing our glider will give us many more years to enjoy the beloved glider.  Plus, the Rust-Oleum spray paint helps to prevent rust.


Restoring Wrought Iron Metal Outdoor Patio Furniture


Additional Spray Painting Tips: 


Wear disposable gloves  (see products below)

Wear long sleeves to protect your skin

You may need to wear protective eyewear and disposable masks

Keep the spray can moving as you are painting to avoid runs.

You should do all of your painting on any individual piece within an hour.  

This spray paint, in our experience, tends to self- level any heavy areas of application as it drys, within reason.

Let the furniture piece completely dry for 24 hrs. before use.

 
How to Easily Paint & Refinish Metal Outdoor Furniture
My Wrought Iron Glider Beautifully Restored

   

 See More Crafts & DIY Reviews On
ReviewThisCrafts.com!

 

House of Sylvestermouse











Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

How To Make The Easiest Cuticle Oil Ever

How to make the easiest cuticle oil ever
Photo's by Lou16
Today I'm going to review how to make the easiest cuticle oil ever. Once you see how easy it is you'll wonder why you haven't always made your own DIY cuticle oil!

Don't use a cuticle oil? You're not alone, it's a step many people miss out when they do their nails at home. I must admit, but cuticles were in pretty bad shape and I would just rub my hand cream into them and think 'oh well, that's just my cuticles!'

This year I've decided to treat myself my getting my nails done once a month (well it's about every three weeks, but my husband thinks it's a monthly thing LOL!) and I do love it when they pop on the cuticle oil at the end. My cuticles are looking much better, but they would look even better if I used it a little bit more often.

Now I like the idea of using natural products and not having some of the additives that you find in some skincare/personal care products being present. I also know that lemon oil is great for softening cuticles, I just had to look for some cuticle oil recipes ...

There are so many recipes for DIY cuticle oil that they would make your head spin, but many of them used so many ingredients that it just seem such an effort. Using sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E oil and about 5 different essential oils just seemed a lot for me to recommend to people, after all we don't have all these ingredients just lying around the house do we?

Well I found a recipe that used olive oil and just two essential oils and I changed the essential oils (based on my own aromatherapy knowledge, and on what I had on hand) and I've come up with the easiest cuticle oil ever -

How to make the easiest DIY cuticle oil ever - every thing ready to begin - olive oil, lemon oil, lavender oil, bottle and funnel

Easy DIY Cuticle Oil That Your Nails Will Love!


4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 drops pure lemon essential oil
2 drops pure lavender essential oil.

Simply mix the ingredients together and keep in a bottle, I recommend seeing if you can find a nail polish style of bottle with a nail polish brush to keep it in (they didn't have any at my local store) or even a roller bottle.

These type of bottles will made it easier to apply, but aren't essential.   As you can see from my photo I just used a test tube style bottle (as I had it on hand) and I use a Q-tip to add the oil around my nails. I will let you know, however, that I have some roller bottles on order.

Lemon oil is fantastic for softening hard skin which is why it's a perfect addition to a cuticle oil. Lavender oil is a very nourishing oil, softening and just great for skin. The combination of these two oils works fantastically to help keep your cuticles looking fabulous and as an added bonus, using a cuticle oil after a manicure actually helps it stay looking beautiful for longer something I've only just found out!

                                                                                                                                                              
EXTRA TIP - if you take vitamin E capsules then simple pierce one of them and squeeze the contents into the cuticle oil.  It will make the oil even more moisturizing and rich (a much cheaper alternative to adding vitamin E oil!).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
It's very important that you use pure essential oils and not synthetic ones when making your own skincare as each essential oil brings it's own benefits and fragrant oils don't have these benefits.

I love to use Arbonne's essential oils when available, if I'm after an oil that they don't have then I make sure that the one I buy is 100% pure essential oil.

Aromatherapy Isn't Just About DIY Skincare!


You can use essential oils for lots of different things, here's a few articles that you might find interesting ...

How Aromatherapy can Help StressHow Aromatherapy Can Help Stress
Aromatherapy has proven to be very successful at helping to relieve stress, simply by using certain essential oils stress and conditions caused by stress can be alleveiated.

Essential Oil Room Humidifier and DiffuserEssential Oil Room Humidifier and Diffuser
Using essential oils in a humidifier or diffuser can add a lovely atmosphere to a room as essential oils can really help to work on your emotions from relaxing you or making you more upbeat.

Reviewing Uses for Tea Tree OilReviewing Uses for Tea Tree Oil
The herbaceous fragrance of tea tree doesn't begin to hint at how many uses there are for this essential oil from medicinal to beauty to household uses this is one very versatile essential oil.


How to make the easiest cuticle oil with only 4 ingredients
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Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

DIY Mercury Glass



It's time for a DIY project for the true romantics out there.  Is there anything lovelier than fresh cut flowers in an antiqued mercury glass vase?  Perhaps the reason mercury glass is such a popular centerpiece at weddings is the nostalgic effect it has on us.  I absolutely love the understated beauty and elegance of silvered glass.  The look, and the effect, is way too wonderful to save only for special occasions.  

I invite you to follow along with me and transform your own gorgeous flower vessels.  It takes very little time and money to create the beautiful mercury glass effect presented here.  In less than an hour, you can be enjoying your own timeless centerpiece.  If you're like me, you'll get hooked and create any number of these mercury glass vases for yourself and for gifting to friends and family.  This is a gift you can be sure will be used and appreciated.


What You Will Need
* Glass vase
* White vinegar
* Water
* Misting pump bottle
* Paper towels

Optional
* Tarp or plastic drop cloth
* Wooden dowel rod
* Gloves

Steps 1-5
  1. Mix one cup of white vinegar with one cup of water.  Pour into misting bottle.
  2. Use a paper towel or soft cloth to wipe your glass clean.
  3. Protect work surfaces with a tarp, newspapers, or a drop cloth.  
  4. Test mister to ensure you will get a very fine spray.
  5. Shake up your spray paint for two minutes.

Step 6
Depending on the type of glass container you are painting, you may find it very helpful to use a dowel rod.  Supporting your vase with a dowel makes it easy to mist and spray all of the surfaces at the same time (without getting paint on your hands or fingerprints on your vase).  It also enables you to spray the bottom of the vase without waiting for the paint to dry on the sides of the container.

When I was painting the test tube vases, I used short dowel rods that I stood on end in an old piece of wood.  All I did was drill some holes in a two-by-four.  Then, I stacked each test tube on a dowel, leaving enough space in between to give me room to maneuver with the mister and spray paint.



Steps 7-8
Spray a very fine mist of the vinegar water on your vase.  The key to success is to start with a very light coating of the mist.  If you get large, running droplets, go ahead and wipe it down with a paper towel and start again.

Immediately spray over the mist with a light coat of the Looking Glass spray paint.  You will repeat these steps two to three times, so it is important not to try to get all of the silvering done all at once.  Light layering is essential to getting the desired vintage look of mercury glass.






Step 9
Very gently dab all over the misted and painted surface of the glass with a clean and dry paper towel. You want to blot up all spots of water and any larger droplets of paint.  This step creates the aged look of the silvered glass.











Step 10
Repeat the misting, painting, and blotting process until you are happy with the final effect.  I repeated the process three times on the vases pictured in this tutorial.


Step 11
Once the paint is dry, experiment with arranging your favorite flowers in your gorgeous mercury glass vases.  They look really nice in groupings of various sizes and shapes.

In this example, I placed three mercury glass test tubes in an antique bed spring.  The addition of a beveled mirror base created stability and an interesting reflective quality.  Peonies seemed just right for this type of vintage floral arrangement.















Mercury glass centerpieces don't have to be expensive to look like you spent big bucks at a floral shop.  Use the glass you already have at home.  It is so easy to upcycle any ordinary jar or cheap vase into something extraordinary.  There is something incredibly satisfying about giving a face-lift to a common, plain item.

We all hold the power of transformation in our hands.  Let's go create and share some beauty today.



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

A Review of Creativity on Review This!

(c) Kimberly Austin Daly, Artist*
Creativity Lives in Everyone!

My daughter is an artist.  She studied art in college, graduating with a degree in Fine Arts. But her creativity in this field has been present since she was old enough to hold a crayon.  All her life she has been compelled to draw & paint.  I've always admired her artistic ability because I can't draw a straight line with a ruler! :-)

*Artwork is the property of Kimberly Daly, Artist/Illustrator.  Copyright: Do not copy.  Permission granted for display in this story.






My hubby was a fine musician, having studied the violin for 14 years, then played the guitar for many more years and even had his own 'trio' during the 'folk music' era of our college days.
Today my son plays guitar and several other instruments and has his own local band with a group of fellow musicians.  I can't play any instrument and have no musical ability.

My brother sings and plays guitar.  My mother and sister could sing up a storm. I can't carry a tune in a bucket!  

Coastal Crochet Crafts on Etsy

I used to say to my talented family that I had no 'talent' for anything, until they reminded me that my crochet and needlework crafting was MY creative ability.  






Creative Talent is in Everyone


You don't have to be able to sing or dance, play an instrument or draw to be talented.  Creativity in ANY area is a talent all its own.  It was a nice reminder that we all have some form of creative talent, whether its in the arts & crafts field, music or dance, or simply being a wonderful cook.  Being able to express ourselves in writing is also a creative endeavor.  


Highlighting a Few Reviews Written by Our Talented Contributors on Review This!


Our team of contributors who write for Review This! review many products and do music, book and movie reviews, in addition to a wide range of other topics.  They are also very creative, sharing a variety of crafts, tutorials of DIY projects, cooking and baking recipes, and photography and gardening tips.  The following are a few examples of this team's creative talents.


Crafts Reviews



(c) Dawn Rae
How to Make Easy Christmas Tree Ornaments by Dawn Rae.  Dawn gives us easy step-by-step instructions on how to create with your children these simple, yet lovely, ornaments for your holiday tree.







(c) Bev Owens

For crochet crafters, Bev Owens tells us about this easy pattern you can use to create your own handmade poncho in her review titled Reviewing A Crochet Poncho Pattern.






(c) Wednesday-Elf

Wednesday-Elf loves to crochet, particularly stuffed animals.  Handmade crafts are her favorite, as shown in this A Bird in the Hand-i-Craft article.  In addition to her own crochet crafting, she enjoys sharing the creative talents of many other fiber art creators on Etsy.










DIY Projects


(c) RenaisanceWoman2010)
Clever & creative Diana (RenaissanceWoman2010) gives us a tutorial for a DIY Mason Jar Bird Feeder using a regular canning jar, a pretty plate or bowl, and a few other simple supplies (glue, wire, and a chick feeder base). Then just add bird seed and watch the local feathered friends in your area flock to your new bird feeder. 







Photography Tips



(c) mbgphoto
Several of the Review This contributors are photographers, but Mary Beth Granger (mbgphoto) goes one step further with sharing her fabulous photography tips for all of us to learn to take even better photographs. She shares the tips she's learned from taking photography classes and doing LOTS of practice. I would imagine Mary Beth seldom goes anywhere without a camera. Her favorite subjects are lighthouses! Check out her Review of Photography Tips for some helpful advice for your own photographs. 





Recipe Reviews



(c) Sylvestermouse

Sylvestermouse is our creative baker here on Review This! She loves to put together fancy cakes and cupcakes.  A quick look at one of her favorite cookbooks for baking (the Cupcake Cakes Cookbook) will give you an idea of some of the fun and clever ideas she often incorporates into her baking.








Gardening Tips



Olivia Morris is one of our resident gardeners.  In her How to Grow Your Way to Happiness and a Great Garden, she shares some tips for your spring planting. 




Articles on Creativity


For more articles on these creative reviews, click on each subject below:






What do you consider your 'creative' talent?  







(c) Review of Creativity by Wednesday Elf


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Modern Masters Metal Effects Paint Review

If you were to offer me something bright, shiny, and new, or, on the other hand, something with the rich patina of age, I would choose the luster of an item that shows signs of life every time.  The best example I can give is that of a copper weather vane.  I have always loved the verdigris patina of weathered copper.  So, when I discovered Modern Masters Metal Effects paints, I just knew I had to explore the possibilities of being able to speed up a process that normally takes place over many years.

I was given a custom-made folk art weather vane many years ago.  Because of the loveliness of the wood grain, and because I didn't want to risk ruining what was a very meaningful gift, I'd been reluctant to paint or stain the weather vane with ordinary finishes.  Until I found the right product, I decided to leave my special art piece unfinished.

When I recently came across some online videos of how Modern Masters paints and patina activators had completely transformed normal household items (like vases, frames, furniture, garden statues, and planters), I knew the day had come to give my weather vane the finish it deserved and had waited for all this time.  I stopped by Hobby Lobby to pick up the Modern Masters copper paint and green patina kit and got started right away.

My first experiment with patina application.
You can finish a small project in a couple of days.  First, you apply two coats of their uniquely formulated primer.  Once those coats have dried, you then apply the first coat of your metal effects paint.  For the second application of copper paint, you work quickly to spray on the patina activator while the paint is still wet.  Then the really fascinating process begins.  Over the course of a few minutes, you will begin to see evidence of oxidation taking place.  The green patina begins to appear and will become more visible over the next several hours.  Your painted item will become more and more lovely with time.  The patina continues to evolve just as it would if you left copper outside to weather naturally.

Patina brushed in the direction of the grain.
Though I followed the directions, and spritzed on the patina activator as instructed, my first results were not what I wanted.  The verdigris patina was too speckled for my taste.  I decided to brush on a new coat of copper paint and begin again.  That is the beauty of this process:  you can redo until you are satisfied.  It doesn't take long to figure out what works best given the vision you have for a piece.  I found that lightly brushing the wet patina solution in the direction of the wood grain produced the best results.  It created a sense of movement and freedom that honors the true spirit of this horse.

I have been asked about whether or not the metal effects paint must be sealed.  The copper and bronze finishes are self-protective (no topcoat needed).  You are encouraged to seal the iron paint with rust patina.  There is a Modern Masters product specifically made for that purpose.  It is called Permacoat X-Treme Sealer.

The wonder of this product is that it works on so many different materials (wood, metal, plastic, stone, paper, etc.).  You have the choice of copper, bronze, and iron metal effects, along with green, blue, or rust patina activators.  I have purchased all three kits and have more projects currently in progress.  At the moment, I am restoring two vintage portholes recovered from ships.  They are getting the bronze treatment just as soon as I finish removing all of the salt, rust, paint, and caulk from their surfaces.  I will post photos throughout that process.

My other ongoing project involves the iron paint with rust activator.  I am refinishing some reclaimed doors I purchased from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  Those doors are going in the She Shed I built a while back.  I'll keep you posted with the results of that experiment as I determine which direction I'm heading with that design.  I'm thinking I might try a mixed media approach or play with some stencils when activating the patina.  And, of course, it won't stop at that.  I've been going through my jewelry box with the thought of giving some items a new look.  Check out my Pinterest Modern Masters Metal Effects board for inspiration.

As you can probably tell, I am totally sold on Modern Masters Metal Effects paints.  I highly recommend this creative medium.  You can purchase the product in kits or individually.  The paints and patina solutions come in a number of different quantities, making it easy and affordable to customize based on the size of your project.  Go have some fun with your own metal effects adventure in patina painting!  You will be amazed.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Vintage Lamp Bird Bath - DIY Tutorial and Review


I was visiting my muse the other day, Pinterest, when I came upon the most delightful inspiration.  Have you seen the creative bird baths that are being made from vintage lamps?  I'm pretty sure I would never have thought of this fun, and ingenious, idea on my own.  As one who loves to give cast off items new life, this was the perfect project for me.  In case you also enjoy whimsical garden features, I am sharing my DIY process to prime your pump.


First, I needed an old lamp and bird bath basin, so I took a little field trip to a couple of thrift stores.  Goodwill had exactly what I needed.  On my first shopping expedition, I found a glass serving dish that reminded me of a sunflower.  Amazingly, that is the exact vision I had for the theme of my creation.  Who knew an egg platter could be so lovely?


Next, I went on the hunt for the right lamp to complement my new bird bath dish, and to serve as its base.  Because thrift stores are always receiving new donations, I found the perfect lamp on my very next trip to the store.  The crystal, marble, and brass features, along with the size of the lamp, were just right in every way.  I couldn't wait to get home and put the finishing touches on my vintage bird bath.


Step One: Unscrew the light socket and remove it from the top of the lamp.


Step Two:  Clip the electrical cord and pull it out through the lamp base.  


Step Three:  I removed each individual section of the lamp and reassembled the pieces to better support the basin section of my bird bath.  I moved the brass leaf section to the top of the column and reversed it (turned it upside down) to serve as the support arms for my glass dish.  


Step Four:  Though I had intended to glue the platter directly to the brass arms, I found that they weren't totally level, so I riveted a circular metal candle holder to the brass piece.  I spray painted the metal silver since it would show through the bottom of the water basin.  I wanted a natural looking reflection.




Step Five:  I used E6000 glue to affix the glass dish to the candle holder.  I ran a bead of glue all along the circular rim on the bottom of the egg platter and carefully applied pressure for a minute or two after centering the dish on the metal plate.  Then, I let the glue cure for a couple of days.


Step Six:  Since I don't want my glass bird bath to tip over and shatter, I ran a metal post up into the center column where the cord used to be housed.  I purchased an inexpensive plant hanger at the dollar store.  It has stakes to anchor the base of the lamp into the ground.  I measured the height of the lamp and then cut off the hook top of the planter stake.  For extra insurance, since the winds are often incredibly strong where I live, I drilled a hole through the center of a cement patio paver and inserted the metal rod through it before installing the rod inside the lamp.  Now my bird bath is very stable and far less likely to get knocked over by the wind or wild critters.  As a bonus, it now has a level platform on which to stand.  I'll be planting flowers around the paver to make it more attractive.









Your steps may not be identical to mine, because every lamp is slightly different, but there are enough similarities to give you a sense of how to go about assembling your bird bath.  You may be able to find a lamp that already has a glass shade.  In that case, you won't need a separate glass dish.  I preferred knowing that my glass dish would not be toxic to birds and I didn't have to seal any holes that had been drilled through a lamp shade.  

I am very pleased with my unique bird bath.  It is so satisfying to take an unwanted item or two and turn them into a conversation piece.  More than that, I feel like I am showing a little love to the beautiful creatures who share my garden habitat.  It has been an especially dry season.  With the mountain creek dried up at the moment, it feels wonderful to provide a source of sustenance for the precious birds that fill my life with their sweet presence and songs.

Let me know if you decide to make your own bird bath or garden art with a vintage lamp.  I would love to see how you use your creative gifts.









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